Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Short Life Relationships.

Short Life Relationships.

The invention of the Internet has made many things easier in life. You can book railway tickets sitting in the comfort of your house, that is, if you can get past that monster of an IRCTC server. You can also pay your bills on line or apply for a voter’s id card online or raise a complaint for faulty service of any of your household appliances on line and get back an early response. And to stretch the analogy of the convenience of the internet, you can even make friends online with people you have no remote chance of ever meeting in person. And that’s where the problem starts. Easy access to the net and to social media platforms has made it such a breeze to meet new persons that many a romance is now begun online and then taken to the real world where it may succeed or fail on its own merits. These social media friendship based loves are still new fangled and the evidence is not in yet, on how many of such relationships succeed but the one thing they have going for them is that they have made it far simpler and easier to meet new people and start something.

This fad of falling in love with online friends has resulted in arranged marriages fading away gradually to the extent that even socially sanctioned arranged marriages are now being kick-started by direct on line contact of the prospective bride and groom themselves (by email/instant messaging), contrary to the usual practice of parental introductions initially. This is indeed revolutionary when you consider that even in the recent past, say just before the turn of the millennium, the only way people met someone to marry (in Indian culture) was either through relatives (the traditional relatives-wedding route as popularized by Tamil cinema) or the much vilified marriage broker route or rarely through the friends circuit which made you stick on like a limpet  if you found someone a going concern But now it’s as easy as going on line and finding a hundred people with the click of a search button on a marriage portal. So you no longer have to worry about not finding anyone more compatible.

The highly romantic "love at first sight and till death do us part" type of relationships or the more common "hesitant but hopeful" kind of relationships have been replaced by something new which cannot be labeled other than trial relationships or short-life relationships. The reason for which is not very hard to find. Leave out compatibility issues or (not) shared interests or work pressures- the most important reason people nowadays prefer to take the extreme step of breaking up a working relationship permanently is because of the Internet especially social media services like Facebook and twitter and also matrimonial matching services like Bharat Matrimony or Shaadi .com etc and the easy access to a wider pool of eligible’s they provides access to - including exclusive portals for divorcees and second marriages.

This on line access to multiple potential partners via all those marriage portals with their refined partnership searches and compatibility algorithms is making it easier for people not to resolve issues but to break up and try again which is making long lasting relationships harder by creating a wider pool of potential mates with more choice to chose from. In any religion, wedding vows have always been about taking the good with the bad, the low times with the high times but things have changed for the worse recently as people are losing the capacity to show patience and bear with their partner’s issues or work through their problems with them. It’s as if each person wonders - why should I go through all this with them when I can just get rid of them and start over? And so more and more people are getting dumped at the first chance, at the first fight and first argument, leading to a lot of broken hearts and confused persons who have turned sour on the entire relationship thing.

This new generation has forgotten that getting rid of someone from your life is more than just unfriending them online. And there is no guarantee that you can ever find someone better even if you keep searching online 24/7. All relationships have problems and it is a sign of maturity to work through those problems together, talk about them, find ways of adjusting or compromising and successfully finding a way through the disagreement. It’s not called the "wedding vows" for nothing. A vow is a promise to stick it out, not bail at the first sign of trouble. And register again on a matrimonial portal in the hope of finding someone with zero problems. For your information, there is no one with zero problems in this world. Everyone has some baggage or the other and it’s stupid to believe otherwise.

If you are wondering what all this has got to do with me and why i am ranting about other people’s failed relationships, the answer is simple. For the past few weeks i have taken the online matrimonial agency route to search for a prospective bride. And to my surprise i found that there are a disproportionately large number of  young divorced people on such marital portals. Girls who are just 22 or 23 years of age and already divorced. At their age all i was thinking of was how to become the Bill Gates of health care and not about marriage or divorce or re-marriage. Did these people even stop to think about what they were getting into? Or did they just want a wedding and not a marriage?

And another shocking fact I found on my online research was that the majority of them have not been married for more than six months before applying for a divorce (if you think I am joking you are welcome to check the statistics for yourself, after paying the registration charges of course) Not even a year to decide whether the marriage works or not. Which makes me wonder whether people can decide so fast that things won’t work out permanently? Don’t they realize that no one is fault free, we are all flaw ridden as anyone else and the best sign of maturity is to learn to live with differences. We do more than that every day at school, college or work, so why not at home?

If you think I am being unfair to women please let me clarify I am not referring here to those women who have genuine reasons for divorce. For instance you don’t need three months to confirm whether your newly married husband is impotent or not. Three days is more than enough to come to a decision about it and no amount of marital counseling or adjustment is going to change the situation. In such cases it’s better to get a divorce and move on to someone who fits the description of a man. And I am not talking about women who realize that they have married absolute psychos and want to escape before their lives are put at risk. I am only referring here about the run of the mill couples who divorce for flimsy reasons, minor disagreements and differences in point of view. Seriously, have people forgotten that we even fight with our best friends but always make up when tempers cool? If we can do that for friends why not for a life partner?

All this instant divorce statistics only proves one point. That the general tolerance of young people nowadays- the Internet generation- when it comes to a question of differences with others has gone down. The words compromise or give and take are now looked on as four letter abuse words. Me? i tend to be a bit more conservative in my approach. Put in the same situation (hopefully not/fingers crossed), I would at least try all other options including professional counseling by marital counselors, to try to find a common meeting point, a half way mark and not abandon ship at the first crack. But that’s me, I am a sticker. And it seems I am alone of that type. The fashion nowadays seems to be to bailout at the first hint of an approaching storm. And then try again and again and again. As some wise man once said (I forgot who) - doing the same thing again and again but expecting a different result is the surest sign of madness. And i have been so spooked by my experiences on these marital portals that i have given up my membership on them and have gone back to the old ways of referrals from known sources. I am no Luddite but this doesn’t look like progress to me. So no internet based love or marriage for yours truly. It’s back to the old fashioned stalking girls at bus-stands   and wolf-whistling technique for me.

Disclaimer: There are some blog posts which you wish you had never written and even if written never published and never let anyone else read about it- to abort it still-born so to say. And then you console yourself with the fact that “hey, no one else does read this blog of mine. It has a total readership of two, of which one is me and the other is also me – tomorrow - so what’s the sweat?” And to get off that itch to write that post you go ahead, write and publish in the confidence that no one else will read it. Problem solved. And then if someone else does come along and by mistake happen to read the published post, then you are royally screwed. This is such a post. So, am I screwed?


  1. Not screwed, Someone needed to say it.
    It is rough being a part of a generation who sees relationships and friendships as mere discardable objects. But I know humanity is not completely hopeless and there are a few of us left out there, willing to get our hands dirty and stick it out.

    1. ah...a kindred soul..just what the doctor ordered for i can rest easy in the knowledge that i am not #foreverAlone in this world..and there is someone else as crazy as me out there/somewhere...thanks for dropping by Anon